We need a change of scene! Not that walking in the Chilterns is boring but if you join up our walks over the last couple of years, we’ve walked, in 8-12 mile loops, all the way from Dunstable to Goring. We’re thinking that we’ll need to explore a new area soon.
A stop-off visit, taking advantage of university holidays, takes us to the Wye Valley, Gloucestershire…or is it Herefordshire? No one seems too sure around here. This is the first time we’ve explored this area and we like it! We find a quiet road in English Bicknor (not hard, the whole village is a quiet as the grave) and set out across the fields towards Symonds Yat. The view from The Rock is spectacular and, if the weather was a touch better, we’d have been able to miles! The resident peregrine falcons are soaring and swooping in the gorge below, watched by a gaggle of twitchers…and us. Feeling rather unknowledgeable and out of place, we take the path down to the river and walk south towards Highmeadow Woods. Just as the river curves to the right we take the path left, up out of the gorge. By now the sun’s out and it’s getting warm and the steep climb has us blowing hard. We’ve not done much walking recently and today it’s feeling like it!
We emerge from the woods at Hillersland. Wow! The wild boar around here have been hard at work! The verges by the side of the road have been thoroughly rooted. They’re marmite and you can find plenty of people around here who like to see them culled…and having seen the damage they can do, we can understand.
The last part of our walk loops through the ‘forgotten’ valley of Brookshead Grove and back up to English Bicknor. It’s beautifully quiet here. What a great place to live! A 7.5 mile walk and much better than being at work.
Symonds Yat picture gallery (more pictures on Flickr):
Distance: 7 miles ; Difficulty: Moderate
Postcode for Satnav: GL16 7PA